Project Runway Season 9, Episode 2: Off the Leash!
Joshua: "Yay, my favorite! The S&M challenge!"
Speaking of leashes, I would like to take this opportunity to remind all my readers not to put your pet chimpanzee on a leash. Apparently, it really pisses them off. And when they get pissed off, they take over the planet and enslave the human race. And who can afford to be enslaved in this economy? Seriously, if there is one thing we have learned from this latest debt-ceiling debate it's this: do not piss off the chimpanzees! Thank you. Now back to the show:
Well, Bert, you had a good run. We all knew it wouldn't last forever. How could it? You lived your life like a candle in the wind. You won the first challenge, the judges loved you, the audience loved you, your fellow designers loved you, the universe loved you. Obviously, the only thing to do in that situation is to completely give up:
Bert: "Well, back when I worked for Halston, that's how it was done."
Believe me, I get it. The 70s were crazy for me, too. I applied to grad school just to avoid being sent to Vietnam. I was only four years old, but I wasn't taking any chances. The point is, it's time to move on.
The designers head off to a pet store to pick out their S&M gear. This challenge is about using unconventional materials in creative ways, and not simply finding material that looks like fabric and making a normal dress. Tim reminds the designers not to be dumbasses:
Tim: "I can tell that some of you will be tempted to be dumbasses. So I'm going to be clear about this: don't be a dumbass!"
Bert: "Sorry, I wasn't paying attention. Did he say to be a dumbass or NOT to be a dumbass."
Does it really make a difference?
Bert: "Probably not. I have immunity either way."
Anthony Ryan, who has two first names but only one testicle, is trying to stand apart from the other designers:
Anthony Ryan: "Everyone else went straight to the chimpanzee section, so I went in the opposite direction and got bird seed. That's the kind of badass thing you can expect from someone who's rocking one, like I am."
So, yes, most of the other designers are filling their baskets with ape bedding and Purina chimp chow. Becky, however, somehow wandered into a Michael's and ended up with silk flowers and scrapbooking supplies. What the hell was up with that?
Joshua (not super-gay Mormon Joshua, but excessively-gay non-Mormon Joshua) tells us he was raised in a theater:
Excessively-Gay Joshua: "My parents abandoned me in a theater as a baby and I was raised backstage by the actors. That's why my skin looks like this."
Oh, I was wondering about that.
So, then we get a bunch of scenes of people gluing crap onto muslin, and then a bunch of clips of the designers telling us how insane it is that everyone is gluing crap onto muslin, and then we're done.
The designers invade the Miss Clairol Hair and Makeup Studio, or whatever it's called, and make their usual demands: "glossy and flowy," "bendy and bouncy," "flowery and flaccid," "sophisticated yet outdated," "modern elderly chic," "Make her look like Courtney Love, but not as classy," etc.
Then it's on to the runway. The guest judge is someone I've never heard of, so she's obviously nobody important. I really don't think most of the designers brought it this week. Most of the looks were just OK. There was one clear loser:
Bert: "Does my garment meet the challenge? Not even close. How much effort did I put into it? None. Is it a horrible, tacky mess? You bet. But the important thing is that I have immunity."
Julie's woven paper dress is not good. Bryce's handkerchief dress is terrible. The two dresses with woven material stuck onto them are not great. Becky's dress is fine, but it's made out of silk flowers and doesn't have anything to do with a pet store. Fallene's skirt fabric, made out of orange fish-tank plants, is pretty, but the overall look is not good. Laura's cardboard skirt was dreadful, but at least she knew enough not to send her model out naked.
Josh, however, just makes Nina sigh. Nina's sighs are like when doves cry; you have no idea what it means, but you know it's not good. He's out.
Still, all those horrible looks were better than the suggestion from the guest judge:
Unknown Guest Judge: "You should have made a ball gown covered with stuffed cat toys."
OK, I understand her desire for a little drama, after seeing that dull group of dresses, but that was a very tacky and unoriginal idea.
The judges just barely keep Bryce, complaining about having to see so many terrible napkin dresses over the years:
Michael: "I have been sitting in this chair for such a long time. My butt cheeks are completely numb. Seriously, I don't know if I can even stand up anymore. I'm sorry, I forgot what we were talking about."
There were a few looks that didn't completely suck. Victor at least did a good job transforming his pee-pads, although the design was boring. Danielle's look was nice, but I don't know if it was a very creative use of materials (and it also looked really familiar).
Two looks were actually really good! Olivier made a dog-bed top that looked like it came right off a Paris runway. However, we have to deduct a few points because it is basically fabric. The skirt, made out of hamster bedding, was good. The overall silhouette was definitely the most fashionable look of the evening. I can understand why he won.
Nina: "It's very EDITORIAL! You could photograph it and put it in a MAGAZINE!"
Whatever, Nina. But making a great look was only part of the challenge. The main part of the challenge was finding the most creative use of pet-store materials. And for that, you have to give it up for Anthony Ryan, who, despite coming very close to being a complete douchebag, was still able to make a beautiful little dress from birdseed. Yes, the design of the dress was not exciting, but the birdseed looked beautiful! It was my favorite, and Heidi agrees:
Heidi: "It comes down the age-old question: hamster bedding or birdseed?"
Michael: "Exactly. It reminds me of what my grandmother used to say: 'Get that goat out of my bedroom!'"